Episode 6 – “My Dad is Hotter Than Your Dad”
In honor of the news that Dads, the most critically-reviled series of the fall, has been picked up by Fox for a back nine order of episodes, I have decided to view an episode of Dads for your enjoyment, in case you haven’t fully been able to grasp what an abortion of a television program this is.
Because Seth McFarlane loves kitsch, Brenda Song voices over “Dads is filmed in front of a live studio audience.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the only thing I enjoy about this experience.
And we’re off. We have “I don’t need to see a prison, I was married to your mother” – an easy, simple, stupid, tired joke – and “All Chinatowns look alike to me” – a racist joke – to really get the episode going. Here’s the thing, Dads: a grumpy old man or a character who’s racist CAN work if the joke is ON them – Archie Bunker and Eric Cartman are perfect examples of terrible humans who make great characters. Given McFarlane’s love of All in the Family, I think that’s what they were going for with the Dad characters. But they never get their comeuppance quite like Cartman does, and they never endear themselves the way that Archie Bunker could. They are just assholes. No heart to melt and no deeper implication for society. Just assholes.
As if there haven’t been enough accusations of racism for this series, we still haven’t gotten ride of the maid character, whose broken English is the only joke. Ugh.
Seth Green, people in the office are saying you’re sexist – “Yeah, but they’re all women!” And here’s where we get to the heart of the problem – the Sons are just are shitty as the Dads. There is no redemption for these families, just a continuing circle-jerk of assholery.
“Asians don’t dream, it’s a waste of time” – okay this a racial joke that could have landed (Brenda Song’s timing here sells it), but was followed immediately by a completely idiotic reference to Martin Luther King, after which a white character high fives one of his black employees as if he said something genius. Jesus.
Honestly, where do they come up with this shit? And how can they deny the accusations of racism when there is NO OTHER WAY YOU CAN INTERPRET THE SCENE. How could this scene between father and son, for example, have read as “funny” and not “horrible” in the script:
CRAWFORD rushes into the LIVING ROOM.
Crawford: Warner, do you have black neighbors??
Warner: Yeah, Dad, right next door.
Crawford: Ohhhh… [Lifts phone] I’m sorry, Officer, the whole thing was just a humorous misunderstanding!
The two men continue chatting, with Ribisi’s Warner never admonishing his Pop for calling the police on the innocent neighbors, after which a knock on the door comes, and Crawford PUTS A COFFEE FILTER ON HIS HEAD TO RESEMBLE A YARMULKE AND SAYS “Oh! Here come my Jews!”
At the door instead is Warner’s upset neighbor.
Now. How is it possible that a human being not only wrote this but laughed? I can hear the voice of a dozen white dudes saying right now, “Oh, but come on Kate, you are just being too sensitive, you know it was funny!” But they would be absolutely wrong. Perhaps the wrongest people to have ever lived. It’s not just offensive because of the racism, IT IS OFFENSIVE BECAUSE IT’S NOT FUNNY. It’s personally offensive to my dignity that someone thought they could put this on a television screen and it deserved to be seen by human eyes. And they even have to nerve to include the word “humorous” in the dialogue in a sad attempt to fool us?
This episode’s “twist” involves a gag that probably made Giovanni Ribisi’s real-life Dad cry: Ribisi clumsily rubbing water off his pants and moaning in pain in front of a female employee’s house, and being caught by her through the window (GET IT??). And with that, ladies and gentlemen, we see the ejaculation of Ribisi’s career. Let’s hope James Cameron has asked him back for Avatar 2.
And because life is indeed meaningless and the world is nothing but misery, the conclusion of this story is that Ribisi’s character is forced to see an HR representative to answer for his incident, but he avoids all punishment after Green’s character promises sexual favors to the HR rep.
Yes. The woman who was brought in to rid the office of sexual harassment was bought off by the promise of sex from a man a foot shorter than she. I don’t think I need to tell you that it is not the height discrepancy between these two characters that bothers me so.
With that, ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my foray into what has been one of the most excruciating, soul-crushing half hours of television I’ve ever had to endure. I just watched Oz the Werewolf and Phoebe’s brother (plus the adorable little girl from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody!) take a shit on all of humanity. How can one believe in a just and noble God and a universe of order after watching an episode of Dads?
Humans are filth. Thank you, Dads, for showing me the truth. And thank you, Fox network, for making the brave decision to continue airing this show, so that more Americans might also have their faith in humanity destroyed.